Ali Al Habsi on FA Cup progress as Latics get back on track.
Following a string of impressive saves in Wigan Athletic’s 2-1 fourth round FA Cup victory over Crystal Palace yesterday at the DW Stadium, goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi said winning the game was not the only important thing the team can take from the game.
The Omani international said:
“It’s fantastic to progress; it was a very hard game.
“Last week was very disappointing and we’ve arrived back at the DW Stadium showing exactly what we’re all about and who we are.
“We showed ourselves to be a hard team to break, but it wasn’t easy because it was against a Premier League team.
“We showed in our performance who precise we can be and I think the two great goals are proof of that.”
“It’s been a long time since we won a game at home in the FA Cup, so that’s another significant achievement for us."
Latics are now into the fifth round of the FA Cup for the third time in the club’s history and the second consecutive season, Al Habsi added that there is a fantastic feeling around the current cup run.
“We had that exact same feeling of excitement last year in the FA Cup and it’s a great feeling for us, for the fans and for everybody at the football club.
“Hopefully we can continue, we are in the last 16 now and who knows we could go even further.
“We’re only two games away from being at Wembley again, but we have to take each round at a time and go into the next round with the spirit that we had last year.
“Everybody is enjoying our cup run again this year, especially the fans and we know it means a lot to them after the memories of last season.
“It’s good to make them happy again this week and we want that feeling to continue.”
Voted as Man of the Match on Latics Wall, Al Habsi said he was delighted to see his saves contribute to the efforts of the team.
“I’m very happy with the saves that I made in the game.
“It’s always great to make saves, but it means so much more to help the team when we win.”
It’s a busy fixture period ahead for Al Habsi and his Latics team mates, but he insists focus has switched straight away to the next game:
“We have to move straight on now, we’ve got a very big game on Tuesday against Middlesbrough and that’s what we have to be focusing on now to make sure we show our cup form in the Championship.
“We want to take this performance into the game against Middlesbrough and we have to continue playing like this because we have many games coming up in a short space of time.
“We have to think carefully about the games and we have to stay calm and be ready for what is to come.”